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The History of the Charleston Chew

Have you ever bitten into a Charleston Chew and wondered about its name? While this popular candy bar shares its name with the city of Charleston, SC, its roots are tied more closely to a famous dance from the 1920s than to the southern city itself. Here’s the sweet story.

How the Charleston Chew Came to Be

In 1925, the Fox-Cross Candy Company (in Cambridge, MA), founded by stage actor Donley Cross and Charlie Fox, created a new candy bar. They named it the Charleston Chew after a dance that everyone was crazy about at the time – the Charleston.

The dance was a big hit in a Broadway show called “Runnin’ Wild” in 1923, and it soon sparked a trend that inspired all sorts of things, including this tasty candy.

What’s a Charleston Chew?

The Charleston Chew is a candy bar with a flavored center, covered in a delicious chocolatey coating. It’s been made in three flavors since the start: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.

One fun thing about the Charleston Chew is that many people like to freeze it, then give it a good whack on a hard surface. This breaks it up into smaller, fun-to-eat pieces.

Charleston Chew and Charleston, SC

So what does the candy have to do with Charleston, SC?

Well, it’s mostly about sharing the name. The Charleston dance, which the candy bar is named after, is said to have been first seen in this South Carolina city. So, while the candy bar doesn’t directly connect to Charleston, SC, it does have a link to the dance that put the city on the map.

A Nostalgic Treat from the Roaring Twenties

Even though it’s not directly part of Charleston, SC’s history, the Charleston Chew is a sweet example of how popular trends can influence product names. It’s a tasty reminder of the Roaring Twenties, a time when flapper dresses, jazz music, and the Charleston dance were all the rage.


So there you have it – the next time you’re enjoying a Charleston Chew, you’ll know that you’re not just having a candy bar. You’re getting a taste of a cultural trend that once swept the nation, and echoes the rhythm of a dance named for the city of Charleston. It’s a small, delectable bite of history, all wrapped up in a chocolatey coating.